SPIRE Instrument

The SPIRE instrument (Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver) was developed by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), part of a partnership led by M. Griffin from the University of Wales in Cardiff. It comprises two distinct elements:

  • An imaging photometer with spider web bolometer arrays cooled to 300 mK and a 4x8’ field of view.
 Spire photometer side viewSpire photometer side view
Credits RAL
Photometer side view
  • A Fourier transform spectrometer with spider web bolometer arrays cooled to 300 mK and a 2.6x2.6’ field of view.
 Spire spectrometer side viewSpire spectrometer side view
Credits RAL
Spectrometer side view

Two French laboratories, the CEA’s DAPNIA (now IRFU) and LAM, took part in the SPIRE instrument’s development.

DAPNIA’s specific contribution was the development of SPIRE’s Detector Readout and Control Unit (DRCU): the instrument’s warm electronics (WE) comprising 4 sub-units divided in two boxes:

  • Detector Control Unit (DCU), which controls the photometer and spectrometer sensors
  • The Focal Plane Control Unit (FCU), which includes:
    • the MCU, which controls the focal plane’s Spectrometer Mechanism (SMECm) and the Beam Steering Mechanism (BSMm);
    • the SCU, which manages the thermometry, cooler, and calibration subsystems;
    • and the PSU, which supplies power to all subsystems.

LAM contributed to the SPIRE instrument by:

  • developing the Fourier Transform Spectrometer’s mechanism (SMECm)
FTS mechanism of the SPIRE instrumentCredits CNRS/LAM/CNES
  • designing the MCU electronics to control mechanisms
  • building the spectrometer and photometer optics (mirrors and alignments)
SPIRE instrument mirrorsCredits CNRS/LAM/CNES